to read

10 must-watch games in the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

MIES (Switzerland) - Now that the draw for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024 has been confirmed, we can all look forward to next summer's great action. We reviewed the four Tournaments schedules and determined 10 of the most highly-anticipated group stage games to watch.

Here are the 10 games broken  down by event.

Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 - Valencia, Spain

Finland vs. Bahamas - Group B - July 2

This is the first game in Group B in Valencia and Finland cannot take Bahamas lightly, especially after what the Caribbean team showed at the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament this past summer in Argentina. Armed with Eric Gordon, Deandre Ayton and Buddy Hield, Bahamas beat Argentina twice, including in the Final in Santiago del Estero to keep the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 runners-up out of the OQTs.

Bahamas celebrate after winning the POQT in Argentina this summer

Finland vs Poland - Group B - July 4

The final game in Group B could decide who avoids facing Spain at home in the Semi-Finals... given of course that both Finland and Poland knock off Bahamas and Spain take care of business and are first-placed finishers in Group A. Well, a lot could happen before and this scenario could be totally different. But in any case, this will be a very exciting duel.

Finland will need another great tournament from Lauri Markkanen

Angola vs Lebanon - Group A - July 4

This contest - the last in Group A - is expected to decide which team will reach the Semi-Finals and keep alive their hopes of reaching the Olympics. The last World Cup has shown that those two teams are really close.

Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 - Riga, Latvia

Georgia vs Latvia - Group A - July 2

This is the first game in Group A - which also includes Philippines. The showdown of European nations who this summer made their debut in the FIBA Basketball World Cup is the first step for these to finally reach the Olympics: Georgia for the first time ever and Latvia for the first time since 1936. After reaching 5th place at the World Cup and playing at home, Latvia is the clear favorite. The pressure is on them.

Will Arturs Zagars be back from his injury to lead his national team at home?

Brazil vs Montenegro - Group B - July 2

This South American-European contest is the first game in a tight Group B, which also includes Cameroon. So it will be urgent for both teams to start the short tournament with a victory. Brazil beat Montenegro 84-73 at the World Cup in 2019.

Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 - Piraeus, Greece

Slovenia vs Croatia - Group A - July 2

The European neighbors know each other well and it should be a real battle, knowing the other Group A team New Zealand will not be an easy opponent and wanting to avoid hosts Greece in the Semi-Finals - should Group B go as most expect. Last time he played in an OQT, Luka Doncic was absolutely brilliant.

Can Luka pull another OQT win just like he did in Lithuania in 2021?

Dominican Republic vs Greece - Group B - July 3

This matchup of the two higher favored teams in Group B could feature two of the biggest stars in the OQT with Karl-Anthony Towns of the Dominican Republic and Greece superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. This will be Greece's first game while Dominican Republic will have already played Egypt.

Egypt vs Dominican Republic - Group B - July 2

This is the opening game of Group B and the Africans know they would best be served to grab a victory against the Caribbean side to stay in the running for the Semi-Finals.

Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico vs Italy - Group B - July 4

This is the last game in Group B and will most likely decide who takes first place in the group - as long as both teams defeat Bahrain. Grabbing first place could also mean that the winning team would avoid Lithuania in the Semi-Finals - if the Europeans finish ahead of Cote d'Ivoire and Mexico. Italy just beat Puerto Rico 73-57 in the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 - the Europeans' 13th straight win over Puerto Rico, whose only win over Italy in 14 games came at the FIBA World Cup 1963. Can Puerto Rico put an end to that streak with home-court advantage?

Expect Tremont Waters to be just amazing at home as he was at the World Cup

Cote d'Ivoire vs Mexico - Group A - July 4

Both teams will have played Lithuania in Group A and this game could decide who is still alive for the Semi-Finals and a chance at the Olympics.